Non-Executive Board Members (NEBM)

All our Non-Executive Board members (NEBM) sit on the Advisory Board and some are also members of the Audit and Risk Committee.

The Advisory Board plays a crucial role in the strategic governance of Education Scotland. As a member of the Advisory Board, NEBMs offer leadership, direction and guidance to the organisation, supporting the Agency to deliver their corporate objectives and ensuring that it runs efficiently.

As part of the Audit and Risk Committee, NEBMs provide robust constructive challenge and scrutiny to support the Chief Executive in her role as Accountable Officer. This includes reviewing the effectiveness of internal control, risk management arrangements, financial information, and the integrity and independent audit of the Annual Report and Accounts.

As at 11 November 2019 our Non-Executive Board Members are:

John Fyffe (appointed November 2017)

John Fyffe BSc, Dip Tech Ed, Dip Ed Tech, Dip Prof Studies is a lifelong learner having left school at 16 and served an apprenticeship as a toolmaker. Since then he has had a long and distinguished career in education having taught in five schools before his appointment as a secondary headteacher.

John was a Corporate Director in Perth and Kinross for over 10 years where as Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services, he successfully led sustainable service and corporate initiatives for the benefit of children and communities. John served as President of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland between 2013 and 2015 and co-wrote its 20-20 vision strategy paper which has influenced current national policy.

John has been a member of numerous national boards and working groups and currently is a  member of the Scottish Attainment Challenge Programme Board, vice chair of the Career Ready Scotland Board and chair of Education Scotland’s audit and risk committee.  He is a trustee of the charity Dundee Bairns which provides meals to prevent holiday hunger and separately the Nine Trades of Dundee’s charities committee. Prior to his retirement from full time work in March 2018, he was Senior Depute Chief Executive with responsibility for Equalities, Public Sector Reform, Housing and Community Planning.

David Gemmell (appointed July 2019)

David Gemmell BSc (Hons) is a Change Director with over 20 years experience working across public and private sector industries. His roles have spanned, business and technology change with some of the UKs best known corporations.

David spent some time teaching in Malawi prior to commencing his career in change delivery.

He has also been actively involved with the Boys Brigade movement in Scotland from boy to man including Captaining his local Company.

Kevin Kelman (appointed November 2019)

Kevin Kelman is the Founding Director of NHS Scotland Academy, an innovative national venture between NHS Golden Jubilee and NHS Education for Scotland (NES), offering accelerated training for a wide range of health and social care roles and professions.

Prior to his current role, Kevin was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Education Officer at Stirling Council, with strategic responsibility for Education, Children’s Social Services, Justice Services, and Community Learning and Development (CLD).

Kevin is a member of the Scottish Funding Council’s Skills, Enhancement, Access and Learning (SEAL) Committee, and an advisory board member of the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools at the University of Strathclyde. He has a range of experience working in Early Years, Primary, Secondary, and Further Education. He has also worked in Higher Education at the University of Glasgow and in the Third Sector with Childline Scotland.

Kevin was an associate assessor with Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education and a professional associate with Education Scotland, where he was involved in inspections of schools and education authorities. Kevin is also a member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

Ray McCowan (appointed July 2019)

Ray McCowan is the Director for WEA Scotland and a former Vice Principal of Edinburgh College where he had lead responsibility for curriculum, learning and teaching. He has strategic and organisational leadership experience as both an executive and non-executive director, is a qualified chartered director and a fellow of both the Institute of Directors and the Royal Society of the Arts. He is passionate about education and the life changing impacts and differences it can make to individuals and families. As an Advisory Board member, he aims to support the Chief Executive to ensure that the governance arrangements empower and enable everyone at Education Scotland to play their part in the delivery of a world class education to learners.

Ray joined the Education Scotland Board in July 2019. He is the Director for the WEA [Workers Education Association] in Scotland and a member of its UK Executive Leadership Team. He is also the Chair of Borders College a member of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland and has previously held a number of other non-executive director roles.

Prior to his current roles Ray worked in the college sector as a lecturer and learning manager before securing Assistant Principal roles at Perth College UHI, Adam Smith College and finally a Vice Principal role at Edinburgh College. He is a Chartered Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Lyndsay McRoberts (appointed November 2019)

Lyndsay McRoberts is currently headteacher of Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride. Prior to this, Lyndsay was headteacher of Kyle Academy in Ayr and latterly, spending a period as Executive headteacher of Kyle and Ayr Academy in South Ayrshire.

Within her role as headteacher, Lyndsay led improvement work within the Local Authority and recently the Regional Improvement Collaborative.

She has a keen interest in system leadership and the contribution headteachers make to system improvement. She is an Associate Assessor and sits on the SQA Advisory Council.

Aileen Ponton (appointed July 2019)

Aileen joined the SCQF Partnership as its first Chief Executive in July 2007.

The Partnership is the body responsible for maintaining the National Framework for Scotland – the SCQF. Prior to joining the SCQF Partnership Aileen was Head of Policy Development, Scotland with the Sector Skills Development Agency for 3 years.

Before joining SSDA in 2004 Aileen had worked with the Scottish Qualifications Authority and its predecessor SCOTVEC for 16 years in a range of roles around qualifications development and quality assurance.

In addition she previously served for six years as a member of the Hong Kong Council for the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications and has acted as an international expert for a number of countries developing Qualifications Frameworks. In 2019 she was appointed to the Quality Evaluation Panel for HE in Macau as well as an appointment to the Policy and Standards Committee of Qualifications and Quality Ireland. She is also a non-executive Director of the Advisory Board of Education Scotland.

Declaration of Interests

PDF file: Non-Executive Board Members Register of Interests 2023 (125 KB)

Code of Conduct

PDF file: Non-Executive Board Members - Code of Conduct (569 KB)